PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN MALTA
2 minute read –
Why the Permanent Residence Program in Malta is Still Going Strong
The Malta permanent residence program, formally known as the Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP), launched towards the end of 2016. Its basis is found in Malta’s Immigration Act (Chapter 217 of the Maltese Legislation), specifically, Subsidiary Legislation 217.18
With Malta being an EU member state, Malta’s golden visa program grants access to an excellent infrastructure, great business opportunities, an outstanding healthcare system, advantageous taxation, and a great lifestyle. Another great thing about the Malta investment visa, is that the entire process can be done remotely – which when put into perspective of the imposed travel restrictions due to COVID-19, this is a great advantage.
The list of ineligible countries is revised from time to time but at the time of writing, nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Iran, are not eligible to apply for the MRVP.
Prospective applicants for the Malta residency by investment program, must be able to evidence that they have annual income of EUR 100,000 arising from outside of Malta, or alternatively, assets amounting to EUR 500,000. An investment of EUR 250,000 in instruments listed on the Malta Stock Exchange is one of the investment criteria – however, this is commonly financed through third parties with a cost of EUR 70,000 to EUR 75,000, which helps to bring the capital outlay down considerably.
Permanent residence in Malta also requires an investment in real estate. The real estate market in Malta and Gozo – Malta’s sister island – is a booming market with an incredibly diverse offering ranging from luxury real estate located in prime areas, to quaint palazzos from the 16th century in more rural areas. This ensures that there are plenty of homes for sale in Malta. The minimum investment for property purchase is EUR 270,000, whilst leases of EUR 10,000 per annum are also accepted. Regardless of whether you are buying or renting, you will need to retain the property for 5 years.
The Maltese Government’s Fee for applying for the Malta permanent residence scheme, is of EUR 30,000, plus an additional EUR 5,000 for every family member included in the application. A health insurance covering the entire family, will be required together with valid travel documents which allow entry into Malta, such as a visa.
You will also need to engage an immigration consultant to help you with preparing and submitting the application for permanent residence in Malta. In Malta, such professionals are referred to as ‘Accredited Agents’. For these services, expect to pay an average of EUR 30,000 in professional fees. Therefore, it is important to choose a quality immigration professional to assist with the process.
In 2019, it was reported that the Malta Residence and Visa Agency – which is the Government authority that manages the Malta golden visa program – had received at least 1,600 applications. Unfortunately, at the time, a large number of applications had been submitted with missing documentation, and this created a backlog, however, the agency’s turnaround time has since improved significantly, and today an application which is properly compiled could receive a response in as little as 4 to 5 months.
Being competitively priced and having a relatively short processing time, together with the fact that you get access to visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, permanent residence in Malta remains a very attractive solution, if you are looking to relocate to an English-speaking country in Europe with spectacular weather, and a great lifestyle or your simply want better access to Europe for your business.